Private and State Employment Services
Private employment agencies fill a small percentage of jobs filled annually throughout North America.
Some experts say the number is as low as 2 percent or 5 percent.
One five-person agency in a medium-sized American city of 600,000 people placed a total of 26 people in 1987. From this small amount of activity / results, all five people made a living and supported their families.
The numbers required to "be successful" as a placement person in a private employment agency are much smaller than you might expect.
What are your odds, then? Small, Very small, Slight, Very slight.
Should you, then, give up on agencies?
No. But give them what they deserve: a small amount of your time... and do not depend on them.
The State Employment Services
The 50 employment services, one in each state, and the similar organizations in Canada, in each province, are also known as "the unemployment offices" in most states and provinces.
The name might be appropriate. Unemployment compensation checks and applications are handled in another department, but the term "unemployment" fits more often than "employment."
Should you give up on state or provincial employment offices?
Probably, they may be worth a small amount of your time, but not much.
One study quoted in "What Color Is Your Parachute!" shows that most people placed (relatively few are placed from the large pool of applicants received by these government offices) were not working at their new jobs after just thirty days!
So the offices, while they did place some of their applicants, were, in effect, acting as "temporary help agencies," i.e., placing people on jobs where they remained for only a short time.
Don't depend on them.
When I was Corporate Director of Personnel, in charge of all recruiting, screening and hiring, I thought that those three activities constituted "what I did for a living" and "what I do at work."
What I did at work was to:
- Recruit large numbers of people for jobs.
- Eliminate large numbers of people from consideration for jobs.
- Send final candidates to department heads for further screening out and semi-rejection from our view, permanent and final rejection from each candidate's view.
- Ultimately reject all but one candidate for each job.
So although my tide was OK and acceptable, what I actually did, from most people's point of view, is now deemed unacceptable.
That is, when I admit to people, now, that my primary duty, that the activity in which I spent a majority of my time... was that of rejection, those people utter some quite-nasty remarks:
- "Don't you think that was unfair?"
- "Didn't you miss some awfully good candidates for employment if you stopped reading resumes after you had 'enough good ones to pick from?"
- "If you were looking for reasons to reject candidates, wasn't your attitude quite negative?"
- "Why didn't you look for the good things, rather than the bad things?"
All interviewers, screeners, recruiters and personnel people look for the best traits we can find in people.
We first screen-in the qualified people, those who possess the required technical knowledge and the educational background which we have determined, or which someone in the department which is going to do the work has determined, is the first thing we will require.
But once we get enough of those candidates, then we must look for things which will eliminate some of those from the running.
We can see only a few. So, unfair as it is, we draw lines. Some people get in. Others are left out.
Understand that personnel offices deal with many people. Sometimes, they lose their cool. Sometimes, they don't treat you fairly. Sometimes, they seem to act as though they don't even care if you get a job there or not. Sometimes, they aren't polite. Sometimes, they forget who you are. Sometimes, they goof up and fail to write you, or to call you, or to invite you.
Understand those things, and then go on with dealing with the office.
Or, if you want my best advice, avoiding dealing with them completely.
After all, they are in the rejection business, not the hiring business.
The person in the hiring business is the one who gets to see the few candidates after the Personnel Department rejects the many candidates.
So if you can eliminate the step called The Personnel Department, or the Personnel Interview, or The Screening Interview, or The Initial Interview, do so!
Studies show that most job opportunities, most new jobs created in our fast-moving, fast-changing economy, come from organizations which have 100 employees or fewer, and that most of those jobs come from organizations which have fewer than 20 employees.
And more than 2/3 of our workers, nationwide, in the USA, now work in "small businesses," i.e., companies which have fewer than 250 employees.
When you next read about plans being made for large companies, notice this: those plans most always include "downsizing," rather than "increasing the number of employees."
Do these smaller companies have Personnel Departments?
Most do not. This is especially true of the 20-or-fewer category, but it is true of the 100-or-fewer and even of the 250-or-fewer, too.
In these firms, managers, executives, and line-management people do the selecting and hiring, rather than staff people, in a Personnel or Human Resources Department.
Use your networking abilities to get to know someone in the field, in the company, in the city, in a church, who can get you to the person who is in charge of hiring... and forget about trying to see the person who is in charge of rejection.
And do not stop until you get to know who they are, until you get to meet or talk with them, and until you get the opportunity to present yourself, very carefully, in person.
That, my friends, is the way people get hired... and the way people avoid being summarily rejected.